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Has Airbnb lost its charm?

All startups experience growing pains. That’s just part of the process. But as Airbnb expands its influence to become a major economic and political force, at least one guest has fallen out of love with the short-term rental platform. In an article on Quartzy, Rosie Spinks argues that the platform has gone from ‘scrappy, idealistic startup’ to ‘global behemoth,’ and she’s not a fan of the changes.

Jasper is joined by David Jacoby, President and Co-Founder of Hostfully, to discuss this tricky balancing act: Can Airbnb maintain its original identity as a vehicle for ‘DIY authentic experiences’ and expand to become a lifestyle brand and travel empire at the same time? They also cover the new regulations requiring hosts to register with local authorities in Paris, explaining how the process mirrors that of San Francisco.

David and Jasper speak to a few other highlights in Airbnb news this week, including a new feature allowing guests to split payments, facial recognition smart locks being used by Chinese competitor Xiaozhu, and an article about decorating your Airbnb. Listen in for tips around standing out—by making your guests feel at home!

Topics Covered

Article #1: Paris Rolls Out Tough New Rule on Airbnb Rentals

  • Already limits rental of private homes to 120 days
  • Now requiring registration with local authorities
  • Similar to process in San Francisco, may become norm
  • Could drive listings underground (i.e.: Craigslist)
  • Unclear if hosts, Airbnb or both would incur fines

Article #2: Using Airbnb Isn’t Fun Anymore

  • Long-time guest feels Airbnb has lost charm
  • Increased ratio of private homes versus shared spaces
  • Can still search shared homes, read reviews to find personal experiences
  • Airbnb has shifted to become lifestyle brand, travel company

Article #3: Airbnb Finally Solved One of the Biggest Hassles of Traveling with Friends

  • New feature allows users to split payments
  • Better user experience for group travelers
  • Talent brought in through Tilt acquisition
  • Drawback for hosts in that guests have 72 hours to pay
  • If reservation falls through, host has lost three days

Article #4: Xaiozhu Will Use Facial Recognition to Verify Guests

  • Xiaozhu testing facial recognition smart locks
  • Chinese rules require hosts to register guests with local authorities
  • New technology ensures compliance
  • Gives company leg up on Airbnb

Article #5: Decorate Your Airbnb for Maximum Return

  • Offer range of pillows
  • Provide Smart TV

Resources Mentioned

Article #1:

Article #2:

Article #3:

Article #4:

Article #5:

Connect with Jasper


Twitter: @GetPaidForUrPad

Instagram: @GetPaidForYourPad 


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This episode is sponsored by Aviva IQ. Aviva IQ automates messages to your Airbnb guests. It's also free!

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